8 March 2017 Current Affairs : WikiLeaks Vault 7, Women’s Day, ISGAN, EU Copernicus satellite, GMR Hyderabad

///8 March 2017 Current Affairs : WikiLeaks Vault 7, Women’s Day, ISGAN, EU Copernicus satellite, GMR Hyderabad

This Daily Current Affair Capsule is a brief collection of important news from national dailies and government releases on PIB useful for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. It covers national, international, economic, sports news.


National Important Current Affairs – 8 March 2017

■  International Women’s Day is being celebrated today. The day is observed on the 8th of March every year to highlight the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. President Pranab Mukherjee will give away the Nari Shakti Puraskars in New Delhi. The award is given to eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment.

  • The campaign theme for 2017 is : “Be bold for Change”.


■   The Union Ministry of Power is hosting the 13th Executive Committee (ExCo) Meeting of the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) at POWERGRID Corporate Center, Gurugram. This is the first ever Executive Committee Meeting of ISGAN being held in India.

  • A total of 36 representatives from 18 countries namely Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, US and UAE are participating in this event.

About ISGAN :

International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) is an agreement under International Energy Agency (IEA) and consists of representatives from 25 countries across the globe.

  • India is one of the founding Member of ISGAN and Joint Secretary (Distribution), Ministry of Power, is the member representative of India.
  • ISGAN creates a mechanism for multilateral government-to-government collaboration to advance the development and deployment of smarter electric grid technologies, practices and systems.
  • Membership in ISGAN is voluntary, and currently includes Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.


ISGAN was launched in 2010 as the International Smart Grid Action Network at the first Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), a meeting of energy and environment ministers and stakeholders from 23 countries and the European Union held in Washington, D.C.

Smart grids:

Smart Grids enable better utilization of existing electricity generation assets, thereby creating opportunities to forgo the addition of new long-lived, high emissions fossil fuel plants.

Smart Grid technologies can enable reductions in GHG emissions and energy use at country, regional, and global levels.


■ The first-ever strike in India by the so-called Islamic State – that triggered a low intensity blast in a train in Madhya Pradesh has ended by 12 hour encounter operation of the terrorist in Lucknow.

■ The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced a mobile application to help students appearing for Class 10 and 12 examinations to locate their exam centres. The App, named ‘Exam Locator’, will help students quickly identify the exam centres on the basis of their roll number.

■ Actor Anupam Kher has been nominated as the non-official member of NCC’s Central Advisory Committee.

■  The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). Under this MoU, Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) and UN-Women will work in collaboration with each other to promote participation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

■  Union Cabinet has approved signing of the Definitive Agreement on Oil Storage and Management between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Ltd (ISPRL) and UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).  This move aims at boosting India’s energy security by ensuring a strategic storage flow in for crude oil, from a government firm in Abu Dhabi for meeting unexpected future exigencies.

■  The Union Cabinet has also approved an MOU between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to provide various services in the field of energy management and conservation. The MoU was signed between the National Productivity Council (NPC), an autonomous body under the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Al Etihad Energy Services UAE.

■  The Union Cabinet has given its approval for India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) and necessary procedures for ratification.  By joining the convention, Indian traders will get access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi-modal means across the territories of other contracting parties.


International Current Affairs Capsule – 8 March 2017

■  British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered a second Brexit Bill defeat in the House of Lords as MPs called for a meaningful Parliamentary vote on the final terms of withdrawal. The British PM had suffered her first parliamentary defeat over Brexit after the House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK after the country leaves the bloc.

  • Peers defeated the government move by 366 votes to 268. According to Parliament’s website, the turnout in the Lords for the vote was the largest since 1831.
  • The government, however, said, it was disappointing and the they would seek to overturn the move when the bill returns to the House of Commons.


■  WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents purportedly taken from the CIA claiming that America’s premier spy agency has partnered with foreign intelligence agencies to turn smart TVs and smartphones into weapons for surveillance.

  • Code-named “Vault 7”, WikiLeaks has termed the disclosure as the biggest leak of confidential documents from the CIA.
  • Some of the software is reported to have been developed in-house, but UK’s MI5 agency is said to have helped build a spyware attack for Samsung TVs. WikiLeaks alleged that as of October 2014, the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks.


■  European Union launched the 5th satellite of the Copernicus observation program, which will cut the time of imaging the earth by half. The latest Copernicus satellite launch will improve services for farmers, fishermen and other users of land and sea maps.

The Copernicus earth observation program, created by the European Union, is served by a set of satellites. The program is aimed at improving the life of EU communities by providing near-real-time global environment data.


■  The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and expressed serious concern over Pyongyang’s behaviour. The council described the missile tests as a grave violation of the UN resolutions barring North Korea from developing missile technology and vowed to take further significant measures.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 8 March 2017

■  Global rating agency Fitch has said, Indian economy will grow by 7.1 per cent in the current fiscal before stepping up to 7.7 per cent in the next two financial years.

  • The December quarter GDP number suggests that economic activity was hardly hit by the cash crunch after the government’s move to remove 86 per cent of currency in circulation overnight.
  • Fitch projection of growth for this fiscal is in line with the estimates of global think-tank The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD.

■   IBM has announced an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems. ‘IBM Q‘ quantum systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform.

■  China’s banking system has surpassed that of the Eurozone to become the world’s largest in terms of assets.

■   GMR Hyderabad International Airport has been ranked first in the world in the highest passenger handling capacity category by the Airports Council International’s Airport Service Quality survey.  The airport, running into its ninth year of operations, is designed to cater to 1.5 crore passengers per annum. The second position has been held by Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.


Sports News Current Affair Capsule – 8 March 2017

■  Olympic medalists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will lead the Indian challenge in the All England Open Championships in Birmingham.

■  The Indian cricket team will retain its number one position in the ICC Test rankings owing to the series-levelling 75-run win in the second Test against Australia in Bengaluru.

  • By retaining the No.1 position till the April 1 cut off date, Indian team will receive a cash prize of One Million US Dollars.
  • Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin became India’s fifth-highest wicket taker in Tests after going past Bishen Singh Bedi’s tally of 266 Test wickets on the fourth day of the second Test.



■ Bengali folk singer Kalikaprasad Bhattacharjee, known for his band ‘Dohar‘, passed away at 56 years of age. He was known for popularising folk songs of rural Bengal through his albums.


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”

Q1. ‘Counter-cyclical measures’ in Economics, refers to the use of which of the following to financially stimulate an economy?

A.  Monetary Policy
B.  Fiscal Policy
C.  Both a and b
D.  Neither a nor b


Q2. The Satluj-Yamuna Link Canal project is meant to re-allocate water from ?

A. Punjab and Uttarakhand to Haryana
B. Punjab to Haryana
C. Haryana to Delhi
D. Haryana to Punjab


Q3. Which of the following statements with reference to the UNFCCC-COP is NOT correct?

A.  It is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
B.  India has never hosted a COP.
C.  It meets every year, unless the Parties decide otherwise.
D.  The 21st COP was held in Paris.


O4. The term ‘Naxalite’ is derived from the village ‘Naxalbari’ belonging to which area?

A.  South-central Nepal, bordering Bihar
B.  Darjeeling district, West Bengal
C.  Malkangiri district, Odisha
D.  Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra


Q5. The Central Statistical Organisation, which is responsible for the preparation of national accounts, is an organisation under the aegis of ?

A.  Reserve Bank of India
B.  Ministry of Finance
C.  Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
D.  Ministry of Corporate Affairs


Answer these questions in the comments below.  Have a Good Day!

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